The UK India Business Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), the premier nodal agency of West Bengal’s Industry, Commerce and Enterprises Department focused on accelerating industrial development in the state.
This collaborative partnership between the UKIBC and Government of West Bengal will help to boost business and industrial development in the state by proactively developing the business environment and strengthening collaboration with British businesses in West Bengal.
The MoU was signed at a virtual roundtable by Ms Vandana Yadav, Secretary, Industry, Commerce & Enterprises Department & Managing Director, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), Government of West Bengal and Mr Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC in the presence of Mr Nick Low, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission – Kolkata.
Speaking on the occasion, Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC, said: “I am delighted to be signing this MoU today, deepening the UKIBC partnership with the Government of West Bengal.I lived in Kolkata from 2005 to 2008, so it is particularly pleasing for me on a personal basis. As a long-term friend and follower of the State, I have to say that I have never been more impressed by the dynamism and determination of the political and bureaucratic leadership. This is one of the reasons why the UKIBC is so keen to engage and why so many UK businesses want to enter and expand their investment in West Bengal.UK businesses such as BT, Diageo, Chivas Brothers, PwC, HSBC and Standard Chartered are already significant investors in the State. Given the dynamic economic potential on both countries, we believe that there is scope to grow this list even more.”
The MoU was signed as part of a virtual roundtable, which examined measures to support businesses in a post Covid-19 world. What was clear is that Governments and industry are looking beyond the current crisis to re-shape and strengthen economies, supply chains, socio-economic development and business norms post Covid-19.
Speaking about the MoU, Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner – Kolkata,“UK and India share great synergies in trade and investment which have only grown in recent years. I am delighted to see the renewal of the MoU between UKIBC and WBIDC which is a testament to the ever increasing engagement between the UK businesses and the Government of West Bengal. As we build back better post pandemic, Government of West Bengal’s multiple investment-promotion schemes, along with its business-friendly regulatory environment and resolution to pandemic related business activities, act as a major attraction for the UK based entrepreneurs and corporates.”
UKIBC will continue tosupport interactions between UK businesses and the State Government to provide direct feedback from business on the ease of doing business, market access and other relevant issues which can further bolster business confidence and enhance the operating environment for businesses in West Bengal. These interactions will continue in the form of dialogues, annual ministerial meetings and various delegation visits.
UKIBC will also work towards future investment opportunities, strengthening its relationship with state governments, supporting its members in addressing their key asks and smoothing investor interactions in different markets.